Things You Wouldn’t Think of…

Whenever I take on a new student one of the assumptions is that I have a magic formula that will get them the grades. I have to say I don’t have a magic formula but I have something very close to one. It is actually a different direction to what teachers recommend, I ask my students to figure out themselves. By asking…

How Do You Learn?

Some are baffled by this question for some reason. It’s not a stupid question, there are many types of learning styles, kinesthetic, audible, visual… the list goes on. I am a kinesthetic learner, I learn from my mistakes essentially. But what I do to accompany that are the things you wouldn’t think of.

Let me ask you, have you heard of:

  • Specification
  • Mark Scheme
  • Exam Board
  • UMS Score

A specification, when interpreted correctly, is a to-do list of things you need to know for the exam. It’s actually a guide for the teacher to teach you. But then you can look at it and say, ‘oh they haven’t taught me that bit’. Which could be the difference between grades.

The mark scheme tells you exactly where you’re going wrong. Do a past paper, mark it yourself, and work out why you dropped the marks. It’s a long process of trial and error.

An exam board. Critically important, as some are easier than others, despite what they would tell you. They also all cover different syllabi, which is why you need a specification.

The UMS grading system takes your mark, plots it against everyone in the country and gives you a different mark. For instance in one of my A Level exams I achieved 100%, but it was any mark between 67-75/75. So I don’t actually know what I got, just that the exam board thought I was good enough for 100% which is sort of a false victory.




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